Are Your Clients Ready to Revive Advertising After COVID-19?

BY Kathy Crosett
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We’re all waiting to learn just how steep the drop in advertising will be as a result of the COVID-​19 crisis. But it’s not too soon to think about how to revive advertising after the pandemic ends. It’s important to keep your clients focused on the future, so they’ll be ready with the right messaging when they can return to business as usual.

Q2 Damage

Data compiled by eMarketer from the Interactive Advertising Bureau indicates up to 70% of agencies and brand-​buyers have made changes for Q2. And Advertiser Perceptions findings show that nearly all, over 90%, of advertisers have reviewed their marketing plans. They have taken these steps:

  • Put a planned campaign on hold 49%
  • Changed media or budgets 48%
  • Stopped a campaign midflight 45%
  • Paused new advertising until later this year 38%

Looking Ahead

While these kinds of stats can put fear in the hearts of every media seller, it’s key to look ahead. By June 30, marketers hope to put the damage from this pandemic behind them. A significant number of advertisers, 69%, predict that Q2 will be most seriously impacted by the pandemic. By Q3, only 28% expect a major impact and 46% feel there will be a moderate impact. The best news will come in Q4. By then, only 11% of advertisers expect a major impact and they'll be ready to revive advertising in a big way. You can help the prepare by planning out a new media schedule with them for the second half of the year.

Consumer Behavior

Certainly, consumers are spending more time with media these days. And the type of media they’re using has shifted, at least temporarily. BIA analysts, during a recent webinar, reported that consumers may not be seeing the out-​of-​home media your clients had scheduled, because they aren’t driving as much or commuting by train or bus.

On the other hand, they’re tuned into news stations to get the latest updates. And, they’re relying on local media, like newspaper websites, to keep them informed of the latest restrictions announced by government officials.

As we highlighted last week, consumers don’t mind hearing from advertisers right now, as long as the messaging is appropriate. Besides learning about how they can purchase the goods and services they need, consumers appreciate knowing what their favorite brands are doing to help out. These positive messages range from reports about donations to keeping employees on the payroll.

And here’s what they’ll be buying in the next month. If your clients aren’t promoting these goods and services, they should be.

  • Food 84%
  • Household supplies 72%
  • Beauty/​personal care products 52%
  • Medical and health care services 50%
  • Streaming entertainment 37%
  • Books 28%

Reviving Advertising

Keep in mind that performance advertising will not be popular in the next couple of months. Consumers aren’t in the mood to hear about limited time offerings. Instead, your clients should shift resources into the following kinds of messaging.

  • Mission-​based marketing 42%
  • Cause marketing 41%
  • Brand positioning 37%

We all know it’s easy to obsess about how bad things might get. After all, industry pundits are looking back to the Great Recession as a benchmark, while some experts say the damage could be even worse. Your advertisers don’t have to buy into the negative mindset. They can help turn the economy around by reviving advertising with the right kind of messaging and by preparing for the return to normal. Use the data from AudienceSCAN profiles, published at AdMall by SalesFuel, to explain the types of media formats that are most likely to drive your clients' customers to take action.